A Tribute to Two Remarkable Men

One of the purposes of a blog post is to share insight and opinions from a personal point of view.  This week I could not think of anything more appropriate to share with readers.  With twenty years of experience in the bail industry and my involvement with the NCBAA, I’ve had the privilege of meeting and collaborating with numerous bail agents. Some of these remarkable individuals stand out as the finest people I’ve encountered in any context of my life.

However, these recent months have been difficult, as we’ve bid farewell to two exceptional colleagues. Their absence leaves an irreplaceable void in our hearts. We must honor their memory and recognize their unwavering commitment to ensuring the NCBAA’s longevity. They believed in this Association and worked tirelessly to ensure that bail persevered through the tests of time in North Carolina.  Acknowledging the contributions of these two individuals is an integral part of any discussion about the NCBAA. Their impact on the association is immeasurable, and their legacy will continue to shape its future.

Dennis Johnson, a dedicated board member, faithfully served the NCBAA for nine years. His contributions extended beyond mere years of service; he was also a Hall of Fame recipient in 2016. During our shared time on the board, I observed Dennis’s deliberate approach to communication. He didn’t speak needlessly; rather, he reserved his words for moments of significance. His innate ability to listen twice as much as he spoke ensured that when he did share his thoughts, people paid attention.  Yet, Dennis wasn’t all seriousness. Beneath his quiet demeanor lay a mischievous streak that would light up his eyes and cause a subtle twitch of his mouth. He was more than a colleague; he was a friend and mentor to many. Angela Wyatt, his steadfast business partner of many years, bears the brunt of this loss. My heart aches for her as she navigates this painful journey without him.  His absence has left a void—a reminder that this world is forever changed without him.

May Dennis Johnson’s legacy continue to inspire and guide those who follow in his footsteps.

Wednesday night, I learned that we had lost Howard Davis, and the news hit me like a wave. Howard has been a constant presence in my life since my early days in the bail industry. He was one of those individuals who seemed eternally present, and in my mind, he always would be.  Howard was a force of nature and a perpetual ball of fire. His days were filled with passionate advice and spirited teaching, especially for younger bail agents navigating the intricacies of the bonding industry. His one-liners left an indelible mark, echoing long after he spoke them.  In our last conversation, Howard played his familiar role. He called to give his strongly worded opinion on a board matter, and my response was the customary “Yes, sir!”—any other response would not have been tolerated.  Howard possessed a unique ability to sway minds, to make people see things from his perspective.  Over the years, our business discussions often unfolded over shared drinks, and my love of Crown Royal came from those conversations.  That’s a detail I imagine he’d chuckle about if he knew.  Thoughts of fishing and hunting dogs will forever be intertwined with my memories of him.  Howard Davis was a singular presence on this earth. Serving as a Board Member for 2 decades (from 1997 to 2017), he held the role of treasurer for most of that time. His wisdom and foresight continue to ensure that our association thrives today.

May Howard’s legacy inspire generations of bail agents to come.

Those of us who were fortunate enough to know them carry a treasure trove of stories—tales of their antics and heartfelt conversations. These memories will be cherished and shared as we navigate a future without their physical presence.  Let us remember them both with gratitude and continue their legacy, ensuring that the NCBAA remains a beacon for bail agents across the state. 

Respectfully Submitted,

Julie Henderson